Teach kindness and build social skills at every recess

Even small changes on the playground help students develop confidence, build social and leadership skills, and get the “brain break” needed for academic success.

A report from the Institute of Medicine found that children who are more active “show greater attention, have faster cognitive processing speed, and perform better on standardized academic tests than children who are less active.”

Recess Lab is a new project from experts with more than 20 years of experience working with elementary schools. We’re sharing tools to help principals, teachers, and kids rediscover the power of play, with advice geared toward:

  • Attention and focus, on and off the playground
  • Teamwork and confidence-building
  • Adult-kid connections and trust
  • Games for every recess, that every kid will love

Bring out the best in every kid — sign up for full access to our favorite get-to-know-you games. Here are a couple:

Move Your Booty. Circle up — one person begins in the middle and says a fun fact about themselves: “Move your booty if you love playing four square at recess” or “Move your booty if you have been to Michigan.” If that statement is true for you, you must move from your spot in the circle. The person who doesn’t make it to a spot leads the next fun fact.

If You Really Knew Me. In groups of two, take turns speaking and listening. For 60 seconds, the speaker shares as many statements beginning with “If you really knew me” as they can while the other listens. E.g. “If you really knew me, you’d know my favorite movie is Moana.”

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